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Reviews - Page 7

Pistol-Annies
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Pistol Annies, ‘Annie Up’ – Album Review

Strong production keeps 'Annie Up' -- the new album from Pistol Annies -- from being something their debut effort certainly was not: boring. The women thrive among thick, bluesy guitars that moan and wail throughout the 12 cuts. It's a throwback sound that fits the trio as well as the daring outfits they've become known for wearing.

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Jana Kramer
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Jana Kramer, ‘I Hope It Rains’ – Song Review

'I Hope It Rains' makes three heartbreaks in three singles for Jana Kramer. The new track from her self-titled debut album is more fun than the bittersweet 'Why Ya Wanna' and catchier than her Top 30 hit 'Whiskey.' The singer finds that sweet spot between revenge and psycho and works the vocals into a potential hit.

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Lady Antebellum
Capitol Nashville
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Album Spotlight: Lady Antebellum, ‘Golden’ – ToC Critic’s Pick

The best moments on Lady Antebellum's fourth album 'Golden' find Charles Kelley or Hillary Scott singing solo, with minimal help from the other on harmonies. There is no shortage of songs that act as features for the two talented vocalists. The evolution of the trio finds them becoming a dual threat super power instead of a two-headed pop-rock-country group.

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Eric Paslay
EMI Nashville
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Eric Paslay, ‘Friday Night’ – Song Review

Eric Paslay's new single 'Friday Night' genuinely feels like a carefree, summertime Friday night. It's wide-open, catchy and easy to fall in love with, even if it's not exactly crammed full of tangible memories. Paslay puts his stamp on this uptempo pop-country cut. His performance is charming without becoming distracting.

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Thomas Rhett
Valory Music Co.
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Thomas Rhett, ‘It Goes Like This’ – Song Review

'It Goes Like This' is the safest of the three singles Thomas Rhett has released, but he sacrifices nothing in sharp songwriting in his effort to land a hit on country radio. The charismatic songwriter is a natural storyteller, and his lyrics bounce to life with each verse and chorus. 

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Kenny-Chesney
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Kenny Chesney, ‘Life on a Rock’ – Album Review

Kenny Chesney's 'Life on a Rock' album is as revealing of a record as 'Be as You Are' -- more so in some ways. The songwriting isn't as sharp as the 2005 project (the most closely comparable to 'Life on a Rock' in style and substance), but the experiences are as mixed and honest.

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Joanna Smith
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Joanna Smith, ‘Girls Are Crazy’ – Song Review

In general, songs that paint an entire group of people with one broad brush stroke don't fare well on country radio, but Joanna Smith is hoping to prove 'em wrong with her new single 'Girls Are Crazy.' The peppy new track is fun and flirty, and a short hop backward for women in country music.

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Tate Stevens
RCA Nashville
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Tate Stevens, ‘Tate Stevens’ – Album Review

The debut effort from Tate Stevens is about as straight-forward of a country album as you'll find. 'Tate Stevens' is an end cap-at-Walmart sort of record that proves the 'X Factor' winner can compete with the big names in Nashville.

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Granger Smith
Granger Smith
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Granger Smith, ‘Dirt Road Driveway’ – Album Review

If you look back over Granger Smith's early album covers, you'll find that he presented himself as a hat act. Sonically he's come a long way since those efforts, with his latest album 'Dirt Road Driveway' falling squarely in the singer-songwriter sub-genre of country music. It's an album that would sound best at a coffee house, not a honky tonk. 

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Lee Brice
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Lee Brice, ‘Parking Lot Party’ – Song Review

Songs like Lee Brice's new single 'Parking Lot Party' are easy to dismiss. It doesn't pack near as much punch as 'I Drive Your Truck,' but that's far from his intent. The South Carolina-raised singer is looking to add to the tailgate soundtrack, and at this he's successful. 

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Krystal Keith
Show Dog Universal
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Krystal Keith, ‘Krystal Keith’ – EP Review

Krystal Keith proves she has the talent to make it in Nashville, but a larger sample is needed to distinguish her as her own artist. At her best she's Bonnie Raitt for a new generation -- but at other times her style, pacing and lyrics are too heavily influenced by Toby Keith.

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Randy Rogers Band
Angela Weiss, Getty Images
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Randy Rogers Band, ‘Fuzzy’ – Song Review

The Randy Rogers Band go for broke on their new single 'Fuzzy' from an upcoming album called 'Trouble.' This story of a wild night out is what 'The Hangover' would sound like if written by a country band.

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